LONDON — British police filed charges Wednesday against a teenager suspected of involvement in cyberattacks on the CIA website.
Ryan Cleary, 19, has been charged with five offenses under the Computer Misuse Act, police said.
One of the charges relates to bringing down the website of Britain’s Serious Organized Crime Agency – the U.K.’s FBI equivalent – using a flood of traffic, in what is known as a “distributed denial of service” attack.
Cleary is suspected of having ties to the Lulz Security hacking collective, which has recently targeted Sony, the CIA website and the U.S. Senate computer system.
British police had said Tuesday that a computer seized following Cleary’s arrest was being examined specifically for Sony data.
All of the charges announced Wednesday are U.K. related and it was not known if the FBI also planned to file charges.
Lulz, which has used its Twitter account as a platform to taunt victims and announce cyber coups, has dismissed speculation Cleary was involved in its operations.
The group said that while it had used Cleary’s servers, he was “at best, mildly associated with” Lulz.
Although little is known about Lulz, hacker collectives are typically loose networks with diffuse supporters in more than one location, so an arrest could do little to bring down an organization and even encourage supporters to carry on a group’s cause.